Viola Davis Remembers Late Father While Getting 2017's First Star on Walk of Fame

The actress said her father would have thought the honor was "pretty fantastic."

ByABC News
January 8, 2017, 9:08 PM

— -- Viola Davis opened 2017 with a first.

The "How to Get Away with Murder" star was honored Thursday with the first new star placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year.

Davis delivered an emotional acceptance speech, mentioning her late father.

"I was going to treat this like every other day. I wasn't going to cry or anything. The only thing I could think about is my dad," she told the gathered crowd. "I wish he were here."

"He died in 2006 and he would think this is pretty fantastic," the 51-year-old Davis said.

Davis' friend, Oscar winner Meryl Streep, also spoke at the presentation. "Viola Davis is possessed of a blazing, incandescent talent," Streep said. "And she is the most generous, present person I know."

"The thing Viola can't do is be invisible. She just can't do it," Streep told the crowd lining Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. "She can't fade away; she can't recede; she can't be forgettable. Viola Davis is inevitable. She is like a sure thing, and her star has been waiting here patiently for 50 years for her."

Davis later returned the compliment, saying "I cannot believe my life right now, that Meryl Streep spoke at my Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony with my handsome husband and a beautiful daughter."

Davis has an impressive resume that includes a couple of Tony Awards for her roles in Broadway's "Fences" and "King Hedley II" as well as an Emmy Award for "How to Get Away with Murder," which returns for its third season Jan. 19.

She also has a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the screen adaptation of "Fences," which is showing in theaters now.